Posts Tagged ‘summer camps’

Starry Night Gala for the John Austin Cheley Foundation

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Sanborn Staff Members in front of the "Lapis Icicle Tower"...oh the irony!

On Saturday, September 27th, 2014, the Sanborn Western Camps administrative team brushed the dust off of their dress clothes and popped down to the Denver Botanic Gardens to not only see the incredibly Dale Chihuly exhibit and the new Science Pyramid, but to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the John Austin Cheley Foundation.

As stated in its mission, The John Austin Cheley Foundation funds need-based camperships for high potential youth to attend extended-stay wilderness summer camps that have a proven track record of positively impacting youth development. Sanborn has been an Associate Camp with the JACF for almost two decades. Other associate camps include: Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes Park, CO; Friendly Pines Camp in Prescott, AZ; Camp Thunderbird in Bemidji, MN; and Colvig Silver Camps in Durango, CO.

Over 400 individuals were in attendance at the event which included admission to the gardens and museum, a silent auction, dinner and two excellent keynote addresses, one from Rue Mapp of Outdoor Afro, and the other from our very own camper, Luis Ochoa.

Rue Mapp spoke at length about the importance of connecting young people to the outdoors; while Luis simply spoke about the impact Sanborn, and the Brotherhood of Outdoorsmen, has had on his personal growth and development. Ms. Mapp believes that parents in underserved communities must first understand the benefits of connecting to the outdoors before they will be able to understand the benefit of a camp experience, and that exposure to nature has to happen at a family, grassroots, and community level.  Luis Ochoa said, “I used to think BOOM was a only sound—like an explosion in movies—but now I understand it is a brotherhood: The Brotherhood of Outdoorsmen.”  Luis also went on to talk about how the connections in the close-knit Big Spring community have allowed him to be a successful student at the rigorous Philips-Exeter academy. “Before I went to Sanborn,” Luis said, “I didn’t know who I was as a person, and how to express myself….Camp gave me the confidence to talk, and when you go to a school where every class is a discussion, that is HUGE.”

The Big Spring Brotherhood Represents

The evening was a huge success, both in raising funds to help send even more campers to camp, but also because it made everyone collected under the “Starry Skies” of the twinkle-lit tent at the Botanic Gardens understand the power of the camp experience. Even Hollywood seasoned actor, Jason Ritter, who was the emcee for the evening, found it hard to put the impact of the camp experience into words. Yet for him, and for most of us, camp simply “changed my life.”

“Camp Matters” is the official slogan of the John Austin Cheley Foundation and after being part of such an excited group of passionate camp professionals and camp supporters, it is officially true, too. If you would like to learn more or help send a deserving young person to camp, please visit:

To see more photos of the evening, please visit our Facebook page.

Celebrate the First Day of Fall

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Already September 22nd?  Where have the days gone since the end of camp?  Though it seems like just yesterday we were climbing mountains, tubing in the South Platte, and riding through the high valleys full of green Aspen—we know summer has passed, and winter is just around the corner.

September Equinox Image from

It is the first day of fall (at least in North America…if you are in Europe or Asia, you have to wait til September 23rd).  At camp, though, fall is a fairly short season…think weeks instead of months.  Many of us measure these fall days by the changing temperatures, the turning Aspen leaves, and the ever-present possibility of snow.  And tonight the autumnal equinox officially takes place at 10:09 p.m. Eastern Time, signifying the sun being in line with the equator.

So at 8:09, about the time the students from Mountain Ridge Middle School are in the middle of the Cowboy Extravaganza at Heisler Hall, the tilt of the earth will have our friends in the southern hemisphere celebrating the Spring Equinox.  Tomorrow morning, the sun will come up over the right flank of Pikes Peak (which, for those Summer Solstice campers in June, the sun was coming up on the far LEFT of Pikes’ summit back on June 21st).

By the time we hit the shortest day of the year in December, the sun seems to rise down by Pueblo, and drops behind Little Blue around 3:30 in the afternoon.  And, yes, it is cold.

Fall Explorations

So, take a walk around your neighborhood today and reflect on how things have changed and are changing in the natural world around you.  Notice the little changes in the colors of the trees and grasses; check out the seed-heads where there were once flowers; feel the different textures of the plants; look at the color of the sky; observe animals or insects—What are they doing? How are they moving?  Where are they going?; listen to the natural sounds and see if you can hear all of the same sounds you remember from your summer days; think about the smells and tastes of each season—how do you define fall with your five senses?

Enjoy your journey around the sun—and we’ll see you again when the sun looms large, bright, and long in the 2011 summertime sky.

Lost and Found Blues

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
Lost and Found

Forlorn and Unclaimed

At the end of the summer, we are always sad to see our campers leave…yet they are always with us, throughout the year, because of the stuff that gets left behind.

A wise woman once said, “Everyone leaves part of themselves at camp…usually a sock or some underwear.”

We do our very best to make sure each child returns with every item she or he brought to camp, including helping many of the campers re-pack their trunks on packing day.  Yet there is always a ton of unnamed and unclaimed Lost and Found when the last camper and staff member leaves camp…and, if you think about it, if every camper and staff member leaves just ONE sock…that is OVER 300 pair of mismatched socks floating around the camp like lonely leaves.

With those lonely sock-leaves in mind, we sing you “The Lost and Found Blues.”

The Lost and Found Blues (To the tune of “River”)

I was packed for camp before school let out
And ready to hop on that plane
3 Pair of Long Pants and 6 Pair of Shorts
And A Supply of socks–all the same.

I arrived at Sanborn to whoops and shouts
All at camp so glad to see me
The high country air was so nice and cool
Need my fleece…now where can it be?

CHORUS: Campers, where is your stuff?
Disappearing, like golf balls in rough
All those jackets, sweatshirts, and shoes
Did you write in your name?
Is this some kind of game?
Why are socks all the same?
It’s the Lost and Found blues.

We found the blue backpack at Cedar Lodge
We located the fleece pants on STUW
We’re searching the grounds for some black North Face:
Missing jackets…anyone have a clue?

I stand up on Sundays and sadly announce
My things that are missing again
A T-shirt, Gap jeans, a Juicy shirt
Hiking boots, my retainer, a pen. (CHORUS)

Someday when the closing of camp is near
Someday when we’re packed and quite sad
My stuff will magically reappear
Brought from the Lost and Found…boy am I glad!

So here’s to my new socks named William and Mike
And here’s to my ASH underwear
I packed this trunk up 3 months ago
Don’t recall what was actually in there. (CHORUS)